Sunday, May 26, 2019

Reviewing: On A Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I just finished reading On A Summer Tide, book one of a new series by Suzanne Woods Fisher called Three Sisters Island.  Fans of Suzanne's are familiar with her popular books about the Amish. This book is a departure from that genre and highlights the author's talents for well written fiction.

I enjoyed meeting the Graysons and learning, piece by piece through the chapters about their family dynamics and what gave  each of them their individual outlooks on Three Sisters Island.  Paul Grayson, patriarch of the family had thrown them all a curve ball when he asked them to clear their schedules to join him on the island. The journey was more than they bargained for and upon their arrival, the girls wondered if their father was going senile.

Day by day, as they breathed new life into Camp Kicking Moose, new dreams surfaced for everyone.  Perhaps there is magic in that ocean air filled with possibilities found with love, rekindled faith and a lot of listening.

There are so many surprises in the story that it is hard to not to give it all away.  I recommend this book without hesitation to those who like contemporary Christian fiction with a slight twist of mystery. 

 ...from the publisher...

Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. "Moving on" is Cam's mantra. But there's a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on . . . and one who keeps moving.

Cam's full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island--a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam's surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, along with the locals--and one in particular. Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher harbors more than a few surprises.

With On a Summer Tide, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher begins a brand-new contemporary romance series that is sure to delight her fans and draw new ones.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers is an insightful look at women who long for society's perennial perfect body.  They long for it so much they are willing to do anything to achieve what they believe is impossible to do on their own.  Set in a remote Vermont countryside, the exclusive program promises quick transformation in a few short weeks.  The price in dollars is quite expensive but the price in human dignity and depravity is priceless.  Alice and Dephne quickly discover that there while they agreed to be filmed during the program, much more is going on behind the camera. 

This book, while showing the extremes of an expensive weight loss camp, is entertaining, yet sad at times.  It shows how tied we are to our weight because so society norm.  Having a healthy body is important.  There is, however, more than the number on the scale or the size of your thighs that matter.  What matters most is the work that is done inside of a person who seeks to lose weight.   Alice and Daphne grow as individuals along the way as they discover the impact between their relationships with their bodies and all other aspects of their lives, especially within their marriages. 

Expectations are powerful and this book provides a look beyond the scale.  Well written with interesting characters, I recommend this book to those who are contemplating  a major weight loss plan. This book is not a manual for dieters, but rather, a look at how extreme we can become when looking for a quick fix.  It shows that even if one has a major weight loss goal, to keep it in perspective and not become so serious that you forget to enjoy life on the journey. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Karen Witemeyer's More Than Words Can Say

...what the publisher says... 

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he's always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can't turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man's name on her bakery's deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn't the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can't even control her pulse when she's around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail's troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence? thoughts... 

 More Than Words Can Say, Karen Witemeyer's book #2 in A Patchwork Family Novel series is entertaining, heartwarming and full of surprises.  Zach and Abigail are bound to capture your  heart.  All the foibles they manage to get through make them as believable as your neighbor.  There is a depth of character, though, that the reader goes through as the story reveals more of what they have both experienced while growing up.

I found this book is as serious as it is amusing.  It shows that life can throw curve balls, but it is how you handle them that either gives you mettle or makes you bitter and withdrawn.  When Abigail is faced with trial after trial at the expense of an unforgiving former friend, she relentlessly moves forward as she prays for God's guidance.  When she is finally faced with the possibility of losing her business through a long forgotten law, she garners all resources and meets the challenge head on.  Only her head is very in touch with her heart, and as the story goes along, her heart warms to the idea that she does not have to take charge of everything on her own.  Her resilience, faith and growing love for Zach make this book one that you will want to have in your "To Read" pile.

Many thanks to Bethany House for providing me with an advanced copy of More than Words Can Say, although I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.  To learn more about  award winning author Karen Witemeyer, check out her website!  If you are like me and enjoy reading a series from the beginning, here is a link to my review of Karen's first book in the series: More Than Meets the Eye.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Thursday Review: The Inn At Hidden Run by Olivia Newport

The Inn At Hidden Run is book one in Olivia Newport's new Tree of Life Series.  I was intrigued by this book for two reasons, the first is that I enjoy Olivia Newport's work and the second is my interest in genealogy.  I was hooked from page one and the story just kept getting better.

This story parallels two distinct eras that are interwoven in ways that I never would have guessed.  Present day Meri, a young medical school dropout shows up in Canyon Mines and accepts a job she is clearly over qualified for.  The mystery surrounding her appearance and secretive manner are too much for father daughter duo Nolan and Jillian to leave alone. They are surely a team to have in your corner and they really made a case for genealogy as the center of many traits that surface time and again through generations. 

Step back into Memphis, 1878, where Yellow Fever nearly knocked out the entire population of the city.  Miss Eliza remains in the city, working tirelessly among the dead and dying.  Her courage is unflinching, especially when it comes to the orphaned children.  Her story is remarkable, and though a fictional character, Olivia Newport's research and ability to tell a compelling story take you right alongside Eliza's journey.

If you like mystery, you will enjoy this blend of contemporary and historical fiction.  The setting in a small town in Colorado makes it a good choice to sit back with a cup of tea and while away the afternoon. 

I received an advanced copy of this book from Barbour Publishing with no obligation for a review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.